How many times!??

edited December 1969 in Personal Issues
How many times will God accept us back?

I've strayed so many times from Him and returned to Him.
I became so close to Him at one stage only to willingly let myself stray further and further away.
I'm not talking about simple sins.... I mean REALLY bad sins... the kind that people in the Old Testament got stoned for!!!

So how many times will He forgive me, when I keep willfully commiting the same sins over and over. Some times I don't even care.

How can He ever forgive me again and again... when in the OT they didn't even get a second chance?

I don't think His forgiveness works like that! You can't sin then repent, then sin again (even worse) then repent again over and over.... It's a cycle that has to end.

How can He forgive me after I was sooo close to HIm and repented with all my heart before.. How can He forgive me now that I've strayed again .. after tasting His Grace. I've gone further astray then before.

I've promised Him so many times that "from today I will change and try harder" but I never keep it up.


  • Don't try to fight sin by your power alone. You should cling to God and ask him to help you fight the sins.
    There was a sermon by Pope Shenouda Posted on this site earlier it was amazing it is titled Come Back To God

    there are 2 parts, it is in arabic but twith english translation. This sermon really helped me, i hope it does the same for you.
  • The God we worship is the God of the New Testament who died to redeem the human race. He said that u can sin and remain sinning, but so long as you come back to him, ur safe
  • Hello Ashamed,

    It doesn't really matter how many times you've sinned. We could sin 10 times, 100 times,  million times. The most important thing is that you repent for those sins and confess them. Then you try not to make those sins a part of your life anymore. God is so so merciful. HE accepts you no matter what you've done. As long as you repent and feel sorry for those sins and confess, then God will forgive you. Remember when Jesus Our Saviour was being crucified and the thief on Jesus's right hand asked Hm "Remember me when you come into Your kingdom" The thief was repentant and believed in Jesus. Jesus accepted him. We need to live a life of repentance. Again, no matter what it is you've done He'll always forgive you and love you. Just repent from your heart, Confess, take communion and WAlk away from sin. Sin is what Jesus died on the cross for.  THe key is to keep repenting and confess. When you pray ask for God to help you. It's good you want to stop, but actions speak louder than words :) Don't just say u don't want to sin do it. Don't let the devil take any advantages over u. Always say MY Lord JEsus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner and save me when ur about to sin or u feel really really weak.
    May God help you and strengthen you from the evil works of the devil.
    God Bless You!
  • Thanks for your replies. It helps to hear that I might still have hope in Jesus (Even though i'm inclined to doubt He could ever forgive me again!!)

    Does anyone know if this story is true?: (I found this story on the internet):

    "A monk, as Saint Amphilochios relates, fell into fornication. From then on, he committed the same sin every day. Each time after the sin, he prayed with tears in his eyes for Jesus Christ to have mercy on him. Blinded by this bad habit, he committed the sin repeatedly. Immediately he rushed to the church, knelt in front of the icon of Christ and said with tears in his eyes, “Have mercy on me, oh Lord, and take away from me this temptation that makes me suffer and wounds my soul. I can’t see your face so that my soul can find peace.” After he said these words and left the church, he committed the same sin again. He didn’t lose hope for his salvation and he came back to the church praying the same way to the merciful God: “You are my witness, oh Lord, that from now on I will never commit this sin again. Oh loving God, forgive me for my past up to this moment for I have hurt You.” He committed “his lovely” sin again. His spiritual struggle lasted ten years.

    Behold, the endless mercy of our Master and Lord Jesus Christ!

    Finally, one day this monk committed the same sin. He rushed to the church weeping, crying and praying with tears in his eyes to the merciful God.

    When the devil saw the persistent repentance of the monk, he appeared bodily in front of the monk and with wrath questioned God saying:

    “Why do You accept this licentious and prodigal man who lies to You every day? Why don’t You cast him into fire? You are merciful to put up with him. You are not a righteous judge, but a one-sided one. You threw me down from heaven for just one sin of arrogance, but You forgive this perpetual lying, licentious and prodigal man because he cries before You. Where is Your righteousness?”

    Then the voice of the Lord was heard from the altar saying:

    “Evil and unclean spirit, aren’t you yet satisfied to lead the world into perdition? Do you want to grasp also him who bows before My mercy? Can you hold so many sins against him that they counter My Holy Blood that I have shed on the Cross for him? When he commits a sin, you don’t send him away but accept him happily. And you don’t discourage him for YOU wish to gain him. As I am merciful and have befriended man, how can you expect Me not to show mercy on him who draws near Me in repentance? I will never reject him until he becomes My heir. I was crucified for sinners and to save everyone who comes to Me.”

    As soon as the devil heard the voice of the Lord, he started trembling, unable to move or say a word.

    “Listen carefully, devilish spirit, who calls Me unjust. I am all righteous. I will judge each one under the circumstances he is in. Behold, I will save his soul and accept him who recently returned to me in repentance and contrition because he didn’t despair, but rather struggled for his salvation.”

    At that time, the monk gave up his soul.

  • i don't know this story but u i do know Jesus told the disciples to forgive '70 times 7' times, so if God asks us to keep on forgiving, He obviously does the same.
    you need practical help, get a friend to stop you from meeting this person, so you are sure that the desire not to sin is stronger than the desire to keep the nice relationship. make sure you don't see each other till you are stronger and less tempted, or married. you can email each other till then. for any other sins you do with someone else, keep away from these people until you are stronger, explain that you don't want to (eg) go clubbing anymore and you will only invite them round to visit (eg) your grandmother for tea.
    alcohol is a relaxant that many people take to help them sin (they don't realise this is what they are doing but they do!) so keep away from it. if you drink alcohol with a friend, make sure you only meet that person for lunch and go for coffee instead. hang out with lots of (you think) boring old people who like to do jigsaw puzzles or crosswords or anything to keep you away from the sort of people who usually encourage you to sin.
    spend lots of time in church so you're too busy to sin.
    for the sins you do in your room and no-one knows about them, give yourself boundaries there too. if the internet entices you to sin, never use it unless you are at the house of someone who doesn't do these things and use the internet in front of that person just to check your email. if this means you will have a computer you won't use, loan it to someone else for a few months. check in your wardrobe, if you are wearing tight tops and tiny skirts, this will attract the wrong sort of guy. even if you are worried you look old, this is better than sinning.

    all that i'm saying are just examples, maybe many of them don't apply to you, but what i mean is you must hate sinning so much that you will take really drastic steps to prevent it happening again.
    and pray for me too in my weakness
  • Mabsoota, I get your point! you are very right.
    I must take action to not be in a sinful environment.
    But how do you do this? I mean, how do you change your entire life?

    How do you change your outlook on life so that God is first?
    It just doesn't come easily to me. I know how bad that makes me sound. But its the best way i can explain how i feel.
  • [quote author=coptmorous link=topic=8541.msg108063#msg108063 date=1259688411]
    The God we worship is the God of the New Testament who died to redeem the human race. He said that u can sin and remain sinning, but so long as you come back to him, ur safe

    the God of the new testament and the God of the old testament are the same.. in Hebrews 13:8 it says: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Jesus Christ IS God-because we say in the NAME of The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit ONE GOD amen.
    People sometimes have this overall look of the old testament that it was harsh...but it is just..
    there are many verses IN THE OLD TESTAMENT that show how loving God is:
    Here are just a few- Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1:4-5, Psalm 71:6, Jeremiah 29:11, Jeremiah 31:3, Zephaniah 3:17, Jeremiah 32:40, Exodus 19:5, Jeremiah 32:41, Jeremiah 33:3, Deuteronomy 4:29, Psalm 37:4, Psalm 34:18, Isaiah 40:11....

    Rabena Ma3kom!
  • The account from the lives of the Desert Fathers is necessary, and prevents us falling into despair, but we must also be aware that our sin is deadly serious, and we cannot demand that God is merciful towards us if we are not truly repentant.

    We are truly repentant not when we have feelings of shame and sorrow, but when we change our behaviour, and/or seek to put in place strategies for changing our behaviour. Repentance, in the Greek term metanoia, has the meaning of a change of mind.

    Now I do have one or two problems with the account of this monk. Why did he not seem to seek the advice or support of anyone else? If he kept sinning when alone in his cell, then we might wonder why he was not advised not to be alone until the power of this habit had been broken?

    So after we have sinned we can recognise repentance because it is a change of our way of thinking, not regret for our past actions. God is not so much honoured by our feeling sorrow for those things we have done, but by our seeking the grace not to act in such a way in the future.

    Much of our sin is caused by us relying on our own strength and thinking that by the exercise of our own will alone we can overcome temptation. This is not so, and repentance means letting go of self-reliance and seeking the strength and grace of God to resist temptation.

    Much of our sin is caused by us having allowed sinful behaviour to become a habit and addictive. We need to ask for advice as to how to break these habits. It has been said that it takes 21 days to break a habit. But it starts with a single day. And then another. But always in the grace and strength of God.

    Much of our sin is caused by us keeping things to ourselves and acting and thinking as though no-one else suffers the same temptations. In fact there are very few sins. And we all are tempted and sin in much the same ways. Our fathers of confession are not surprised or shocked, but they do have the experience to offer advice to help us succeed in overcoming temptation.

    It would be wise for you to consider how it is that you fall into this sin. What is the situation and circumstance in which it occurs. And then seek the support of others, in prayer and through advice, to change these situations and circumstances. Perhaps you need to set up a filter on your PC and ask a friend to set the password? Perhaps you need to fill your time with spiritual activity, or with some acts of charity, or you need to be with others in Church more often, or join a club that takes you away from the situations which make it easy for you to be tempted.

    But above all, seek the grace of God, and understand that our salvation is found in acquiring the Holy Spirit, and not grieving him so that he withdraws from us. This is the whole purpose of our lives.

    "Lord I am not worthy, but you know my weaknesses even more than I do myself, yet you love me. I desire to bring you honour but have no strength in me at all to achieve even the least good. Grant me all the grace that I need to obey you. Teach me how to live a life of repentance, and set my heart on always pleasing you. Give me that which I lack in myself."

    Father Peter
  • I agree with father peter and also the others

    Psalm 34:22 (New King James Version)
    22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants,
    And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

    Jesus said to that woman  your faith has saved you.

    However shall I leave you alone now in your human weakness.. We need to be careful not to sin again.. Jesus said I have come that you may not sin.. 
    you need to keep the bible in your heart..

    Psalm 119:9 How can a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed according to your word.

    also the bible says I commend you to the word of His grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified..
    He always takes back those who repent..

    but one saint said "He who promises forgiveness if you repent has not promised tommorow if you delay" this does not mean I think you should always fear you are not given another day.. because if you have no intention of sinning and you fall due to the hatred and envy of demons .. we remember God is longsuffering and rejoices over you to do your good if you repent
    while this saying is said we also know another godly man said God never takes us before giving us a chance to repent..
    We remember the old church were expecting the coming of Jesus in their own day..

    We are going to all commit sins everyday.. we must do our best to repent of them..
    Let us work out our own salvation with fear and trembling..

    I have come late to reply.. is this really bad?

  • Hell isn't merely paved with good intentions, it is walled and roofed with them.
    Aldous Huxley

    The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.
    Dante Alighieri
  • I hope you understood what I meant last time ashamed..  I did not mean you must be worried about your life.. for that would be wrong. "Rejoice in the LORD always. Again I will say rejoice." Because God does not take away our lives if we are trying to repent.. but He said we will come to the end of our days.. " even if we keep falling in sin if we do not despair like the publican we may be saved.. as long as we are trying hard.. sometimes he decides to take peoples life early normally because they have repented and He wants them to be with Him..

    Psalm 103 (New King James Version)

    Psalm 103

    A Psalm of David.

    1 Bless the LORD, O my soul;
             And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
    2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
             And forget not all His benefits:
    3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
             Who heals all your diseases,
    4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
             Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
    5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
             So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
    6 The LORD executes righteousness
             And justice for all who are oppressed.
    7 He made known His ways to Moses,
             His acts to the children of Israel.
    8 The LORD is merciful and gracious,
             Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
    9 He will not always strive with us,
             Nor will He keep His anger forever.
    10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
             Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
    11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
             So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
    12 As far as the east is from the west,
             So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
    13 As a father pities his children,
             So the LORD pities those who fear Him.
    14 For He knows our frame;
             He remembers that we are dust.
    15 As for man, his days are like grass;
             As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
    16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
             And its place remembers it no more.[a]
    17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting
             On those who fear Him,
             And His righteousness to children’s children,
    18 To such as keep His covenant,
             And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
    19 The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
             And His kingdom rules over all.
    20 Bless the LORD, you His angels,
             Who excel in strength, who do His word,
             Heeding the voice of His word.
    21 Bless the LORD, all you His hosts,
             You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
    22 Bless the LORD, all His works,
             In all places of His dominion.
             Bless the LORD, O my soul!

    Deuteronomy 30 (New International Version)

    Deuteronomy 30

    Prosperity After Turning to the LORD

    1 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes [a] and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. 6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, 10 if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
    The Offer of Life or Death

    11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
    15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

    17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

    19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    Those people would be cut off because when they heard this preaching they said no .. they resolved early not to obey and not to repent..

    How many sins did the prodigal son do before he came back to his father? he sinned with many prostitutes.. yet his father honored him.. likewise the LORD honours us with long life if we just listen.. and resolve to obey him..

    Moses the black lived 75 years and so many others have too

    Rahab the harlot was spared and probably lived long.. . many tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God jesus said..these people ofcourse repeated sin plenty and God did not give up on them. Those probably also lived a long life.. because Jesus is even above the law of moses..I shall not explain this with a story in the gospel.. I know it is embarassing for you to hear this from me.. I also stand in need of mercy.. sorry if I have offended..
    Having fear of death is very bad because how then will we serve God.. We all have sins which none of us can repay... all sinners in the gospels were freely forgiven

    "He who did not spare his own son but gave him up.. how shall He not with Him freely give us all things"

    The thief does not come except to steal,to kill and destroy but I have come that they may have life and have it more fully

    Psalm 117

    Let All Peoples Praise the LORD

    1 Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
             Laud Him, all you peoples!
    2 For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
             And the truth of the LORD endures forever.
             Praise the LORD!

  • beautiful words, mike
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